Okay, I know this is a blog about not having sex, but I just can't resist putting my two cents (literally, I'm on a budget) into the fray about our current economic crisis.
In my book Sensual Celibacy, I wondered how celibacy impacts the GNP (gross national product). After all, if you're not having sex, chances are you're buying copious amounts of chocolate and Kleenex, renting tons of DVDs for those Friday and Saturday nights home alone, and shopping way too much for shoes.
Come to think of it, shoe shopping is the one thing celibate and sexually active women agree on.
The point is, when you're suddenly single or single by force not choice or even willingly single, there are times when the aloneness seems unbearable. What to do?
In a capitalistic society, instead of meditating or praying, we spend money. Spending money is the way we escape from the pressures of life – although spending money often creates new pressures. We've been trained to whip out the plastic to buy things we don't really need, and at least for a moment we feel better, even ecstatic.
A few years ago, I lost everything – my job, my house, my knees (double knee replacement surgery). I thought I was losing my mind.
I read the heartfelt stories about women who had endured a crisis with their husbands at their side.
Well, hell, I didn't have one of those. Made me feel worse.
Normally, I would go to the bookstore and buy tons of books and books-on-tape to self-medicate, but with no money, I couldn't depend on the old shopping therapy to soothe my battered soul. At least not in the way I had before.
Somehow I got through my dark night of the soul, and I've learned to live on a lot less. A lot less. In fact, it's become a game to see how much I can save and still receive a modicum of enjoyment from life.
The country's going to have to learn to live on a lot less to get through this crisis. We also need to reestablish our manufacturing base. Not only did these guys have sticky fingers, they exported practically our entire manufacturing base overseas. Just plain evil.
Don't wait for someone else to create a company that actually makes something useful. Do It Yourself! Check out Etsy.com for a model of an online DIY community. The DIY revolution could very well turn out to be our economic salvation.
It will also give you something to do while not having sex.
So when I hear all the moaning and groaning on Wall Street and all the finger pointing in Washington, I point my own finger at all of them.
When I needed a bailout, only my family was there. Why should my taxes go to helping these rich guys when, in their insatiable quest for money, they never cared about building in safeguards for their employees and the society as a whole?
How can these CEOs, who ran their companies into the ground, get more money than a developing nation? Or was it the plan all along, to drop a bomb on the economy? Follow the money. I mean, either there's widespread incompetence or obedience on Wall Street and in Washington.
And if we must bail out these fools, then I want part ownership in the companies. I want to see dividend checks from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and Iraqi oil (don't get me started on that).
The problem with capitalism is that money can become your god. As we've seen recently, money is a piss poor excuse for a god.
I'm still trying to sort through fact from fiction, but I'm beginning to suspect that the meltdown was calculated. Corruption and greed were the usual culprits, but there's a bigger agenda, as there always is with these things.
Follow the money. It's all about the consolidation of power. Fewer and fewer corporations are setting up to run more and more of our lives.
So I'm no different from anyone. I like to spend money, and in my more honest moments, I'll even admit to using money spending to self-medicate. But as I mentioned, I've learned how to live with a lot less. I pray and meditate a lot more.
How do I get my money spending fix during hard times? I go to the thrift shop.
More on a celibate woman's adventures at the thrift in later posts!!